Ryhope CW 2-1 West Auckland Town: Colliery Welfare progress to Cup final￼
Written by Kyle Ritchie on 16th March 2022
After twice taking the lead in the match, Ryhope were able to progress to the Durham Challenge Cup final.
Having started brightly, Ryhope took the lead on 21 minutes through forward Kyle Davis, however, on 38 minutes West Auckland found an equaliser through striker Jordan Blinco.
A header from Jon Weirs in added time in the first half, sealed Ryhope’s semi-final victory.
Ryhope made three changes from the side that lost 4-1 at home to Whickham last time, meaning out with David Gordon, Denver Morris and Christopher Trewick all returning to the starting eleven.
The home side had impressively beaten Spennymoor Town 4-1 to progress to the semi-finals, while the visitors came through a penalty shootout against local rivals Bishop Auckland to reach the semi-final.
Colliery Welfare started the game well with Robbie Bird and Jon Weirs both being presented with early chances in the box, but both were unable to put their shots on target.
The breakthrough came in at 21 minutes as a perfectly weighted ball over the top from Paul Braithwaite found Davis who then poked the ball past the approaching Sam Guthrie to give Ryhope the lead.
The visitors were able to respond in the 38th minute, when striker Blinco was able to latch onto a loose back pass from a Ryhope defender to calmly slot the ball past James Winter to level the game.
With seconds remaining of the first half, Weirs reclaimed the lead for Ryhope as he got on the end of a James Ellis corner to head the ball into the back of the net to send Colliery Welfare into the half time a goal to the good.
The home side had chances to extend their lead early in the second half as Ellis saw his two efforts claimed by Guthrie in the West Auckland goal.
Davis thought he had scored his second of the game until his curling effort was saved from the top corner by the outstretched Guthrie.
West Auckland had a chance to grab an equaliser in the 73rd minute as Kyle Fryatt’s scuffed effort was claimed by Winter at the back post.
Ryhope managed the game well in the dying stages of the game to see out a convincing win and reach the final of the competition.
Gary Pearson and his management team will be hoping to bring the cup back to Wearside for only the second time in the club’s history after last winning the competition back in 1978.
Details of the venue and date of the final are still to be confirmed.